OUT OF POCKET: NO DINING PLAN OFFERINGS Summer 2021
Planning on heading to Chef Mickey’s soon? Here’s a few things to know.
With still no Dining Plan Offerings in near-sight, you will have to account for the full cost of paying out of pocket pricing for some pretty hefty pricing for dining in Walt Disney World. Chef Mickey’s being one of them.
$240.00 was our bill with tip* for our family of 4 EVEN WITH MY ANNUAL PASS DISCOUNT which only takes off about 10%. At what used to be an excellent buffet (especially in recent years, until covid hit) and is now a family-style ALL YOU CAN EAT, which we did enjoy a nice dinner on a stormy June night. – ** THIS was one of the only times we got to see the main man, Mickey Mouse during our vacation. The other time was a Hollywood Studios Cavalcade. My two children were ages 13 and 10 at the time with my husband and I – which is a typical family of 4.
The waitress did bring out some yummy food starting with delicious types of salad as starters. Some entrees offered were salmon, turkey, beef and more. My kids also asked for chicken fingers. Deserts like their signature mousse over Oreos, apple tart, strawberry cake, and chocolate chip cookies etc were brought out. You were allowed to ask for as much as you wanted and the waitress would bring it to you.
I always purchase Discounted DISNEY GIFT CARDS from either Target or BJs to save as much as possible. This is how I paid for all of our dining on this past trip – tips included.
We did not have a reservation so since we had some really awful rained-out STORMY nights, we decided to head to the Contemporary Resort and figured if we couldn’t get into Chef Mickey’s we would just eat at their quick service. Since we were resort guests of Fort Wilderness, and happened to have our own car – we didn’t have any issues upon entering the Contemporary especially since the resort was not crowded. We only had to wait 30 minutes so we did some shopping in the gift shops while waiting. We did get to see some other characters in addition to Mickey, like Pluto, Donald and Minnie. The characters come out individually, dancing around and posing for your pictures – not getting too close.
It was definitely nice that this was an option since there were heavy downpours, thunder and lightening that lasted most of the night and Magic Kingdom was at a point where it was still closing at 9pm which was disappointing.
We are so excited for the Disney Dining Plan to return! (hoping and praying it won’t be worse or any more expensive than it already was!)
DISCLAIMER: I am by no means responsible for anything that may happen to your photos, your iPhone or anything associated. These are my opinions and my suggestions on ways to help.
So with the news of being able to reserve a park pass for passholders only for the soft opening of Legoland NY I became really excited this morning! With thoughts of this and summer approaching, it has been a while since I backed up the photos on my iPhone and decided now is the time to save them and clear up my phone’s capacity for even more photos! I am so excited for all the photos to come this summer!! We all know how many photos we can capture while visiting WDW and I automatically get Memory Maker being an Annual Passholder! Follow me on Instagram – familypixiedust429 for our upcoming Legoland and Disney World Adventures and Content! https://www.instagram.com/familypixiedust429/?hl=en
I decided to attack this project this morning in the midst of my daily chores. I need to vacuum every day since getting a black lab/boxer puppy mix. I love her to pieces but the amount of hair is just overwhelming. I try to brush her every day – but it is just ALL over all the time – plus it is so fine it blows around so easily. Not to mention working on the laundry, folding towels, dishes, breakfast for my kids, drop off / pick-up for my younger son who went back to in-person school and his lunch etc – being at home is much harder than being at work! I should be going back to work this fall….
A few years ago I learned a hard lesson not to just save my iPhone photos to my WD External Hard Drive because I was also using it to work inside of Photoshop and I blew its brains out – losing all of my photos along with the work I created. Luckily I had some photos saved to the computer we were using at the time but I knew from then on I needed multiple places for storing my precious photos.
Google Photos easily automatically backs up all of your iPhone photos just by opening the app. I believe the phone needs to stay on and the app opened to save all. I just go into the phone’s settings to Display & Brightness, then change “Auto-Lock” to NEVER. Then you can create albums to organize the photos. It also lets you share as well. Don’t forget to go back in and change the auto-lock back after you are finished. You can also upload any photos saved from your computer to Google Photos as well.
Although this app is a touch more difficult because it takes much longer to upload the photos – I like to have them in more than one place. To upload to Shutterfly I recommend doing this one night when going to bed. Make sure you are fully connected to the wi-fi. I would again change my iPhone’s Auto-Lock in the settings to never and then proceed into Shutterfly keeping it open. Here you can also create albums as well. This app seems to take several hours, so face your iPhone face down for the evening and let it upload from there. I also like having my pictures printed and mailed through Shutterfly as well.
WD External Hard Drive
This would be where you connect your iPhone and WD Drive to your computer. You would create files inside your WD Drive through your computer, and then access your iPhone photos (also through your computer). You highlight which photos you want to save and drag/drop to the file of your choice. I usually name the files by month and year. The problem I have been having with this method lately is that my computer loses my iPhone, or isn’t reading it correctly or does not obtain all of the photos. If anyone has any suggestions for this by all means please let me know!
Some of my most favorite pictures are from Disney’s Memory Maker.
Going to Disney world as often as we have while the kids were growing up was like having our own professional group of photographers traveling with us, simply by adding the Memory Maker to our vacation package. Memory Maker provides to you all pictures that your family takes with Disney Photographers around the parks and photos/videos taken while on rides. I have some of the most beautiful pictures of my 2 beautiful boys while in Disney. We can look back from year to year and see them growing up Disney.
We have COUNTLESS beautiful family photos and photos of just my 2 children through the years from our Disney Vacations thanks to Memory Maker. In fact there are so many, there are just too many to share with you! Not sure how much you want to see someone else’s boring old pictures but it can show you just how amazing they can be and the special effects that come along with them. But I will share with you some of my favorite.
The video I have displayed below is from our May 2015 trip – this photo was taken across from Star Tours on a speeder. Not sure if that is even there anymore – they had it closed for the longest time. It was so beautiful I blew it up on a canvas – I had purchased a Groupon so I only paid $16 for this gorgeous blow up. I believe is a 36″ x 22″.
Here is the actual picture:
Here are some other magical pictures that were taken from that trip – just a few **there are just too many to share!
We happened to be at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park on Mother’s Day that year and I really cherish those few special pics.
The special effects part comes when you download your Memory Maker Vacation Pictures in my Disney Experience during and after your vacation. I believe you have 60 days to download before they disappear. You can log in from your computer and save to anything you like.
Memory Maker is added to your Walt Disney World Vacation Package as an add-on. There are now different options for adding your Memory Maker into your vacation package! An advance purchase will cost you $169.00 to have the ability to save and download ALL your vacation pictures and videos from MDE from all your vacation days! If you wait and add on late, they will charge you $200.00. You can purchase only 1 day out of your vacation to download all of your pictures and videos from that particular day for $69.00. I have always done the pre-order at $169.00.
In 2019 we upgraded to Annual Passholder because we went not just in August 2019, but also for New Years Even 2019… so when you are an annual pass holder, Memory Maker is INCLUDED. You will have ALL of your pictures of that year including all the times you have vacationed at Disney World and they will not expire until your annual pass is set to expire.
With everything that has happened in the world during this past year and just how fast my kids are growing I really treasure all these beautiful pictures of I have of them and us together as a family. What precious happy memories.
Below are some pictures from April, August 2019 and January 2019-2020:
Going through all of these pictures made me realize that I was smart to save some of them in more than one place – because you never know if on an external hard drive they may accidentally get deleted! Save all of your pictures in more than one place!
External Hard Drive (WD Drive)
Along with your own pictures, the Memory Maker also provides and includes some Disney stock photos that are absolutely all yours’s – you have all the rights to do whatever you want with them.
Below is from our April 2019 Trip where we stayed at Disney’s Port Orleans French Quarter:
Looking through all of our pictures reminds me of how much we love Disney and how much we enjoy all of our Memory Maker pictures. But I have to say I am really undecided if we will invest in it until we are passed COVID. Masks in every single pictures seems to just take a little bit of magic away. Maybe I need to look at it differently?
Below is a more recent trip when we stayed at the Wilderness Lodge August 2019. You can see how much bigger my kids got at this point but currently they are even bigger – as tall as me now and I am 5’7.
We really enjoyed Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party that August 2019. We went to the second party of the year. It was so much fun! So glad we were able to experience it!!! This is where having Memory Maker is HUGE – because at these parties, you are getting pictures with characters you do not normally get to meet.
Below is just a few months later New Years Eve 2019 – January 7, 2020. Right before our world Coronapocalypse began.
For our New Years Even week trip 2019-2020 we were lucky enough to stay at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort and Spa Resort where the decorations are beyond magical. Victorian Style resort theming with spectacular Christmas Decorations. The massive Christmas Tree inside of the lobby at the Grand has a Disney World Photo Pass Photographer there at all times -yet another good reason to have Memory Maker! The gingerbread house display was also whimsical with a photographer but we were too slow and missed taking a picture before the display was taken down. The gingerbread house was taken down only 2 days into our trip as we checked in the night before New Year’s Eve. If you plan to grab a picture in front, make sure you are there prior to New Years Day!
So as we begin to plan our next Walt Disney World Vacation, do we go for Memory Maker and have memories filled with all masks covering our faces or do we skip it??